Cost of directors’ goodbyes up 40 per cent

The size of executive pay-offs
has increased dramatically despite public concern over "golden
handshake" payments.

New figures from analyst
Hemscott reveal that money paid to departing directors in the FTSE 350 index
rose last year by 40 per cent.

Companies paid out around £42m
in pay offs in 2000, compared to £29m in 1999.

The increase is partly due to the number of
directors receiving pay-offs increasing from 63 to 82. One huge single payment of
more than £9m by Vodafone also influenced the final figure.

Among some of the big spenders
were asset manager Schroders, who paid out £4.9m and British Airways which
spent £2m on boardroom compensation.

Grocery chain Sainsbury paid
£2.2m to four directors while Marks & Spencer gave six directors a combined
sum of £2.7m, despite the company’s poor performance.

By Ross Wigham

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